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Sentinel bruising as a presentation of metastatic melanoma


A 46-year-old man presented with a 4-week history of bruising with subcutaneous nodules and weight loss. He also had a 2-week history of progressive back and hip pain. He had been diagnosed with stage Ib cutaneous melanoma 30 months previously, which had been fully excised. A sentinel lymph node biopsy was negative. On examination, there were five skin lesions at different stages. Each had spontaneously appeared as a bruise with a central subcutaneous nodule, and the bruising then faded to leave a persistent subcutaneous nodule. Excision of one of the nodules demonstrated a 4.5 mm diameter partly necrotic melanoma deposit in the dermis. CT scan of the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis showed widespread metastases. This rare presentation of cutaneous malignant melanoma metastases has been termed ‘sentinel bruising’. There are fewer than 10 cases reported in the literature.

  • dermatology
  • skin cancer
  • oncology
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